Why does VPN decrease Internet speed?

Users may notice a little slowdown in their internet connection after using a VPN. This is rather common, but why does it occur?

This post will explain why VPNs slow down the internet and which services you should look into if you want to avoid losing data. A VPN is a must-have tool for everyone who values privacy and unfettered Internet access, yet some individuals may find it inconvenient due to slower connections. This article discusses why your VPN speed may be slowing down and how you may improve it.

Why do VPNs cause the internet to slow down?

To comprehend why VPNs slow down your internet, we must first comprehend what occurs when you connect to a VPN. By disguising IP addresses, VPNs are used to offer more private surfing experiences. VPN services do this by routing all user traffic through an encrypted tunnel to a private server before it reaches the public internet. VPNs have a plethora of benefits. However, one disadvantage of a virtual private network is that it sends data and requests from your device through a longer physical path before reaching the internet in order to supply services.

This is evident when connecting to a server in a whole other area of the world — even if most things are now instantaneous, it's still a very long distance. Because of the additional stages, it is unavoidable that it will take longer.

Another reason you could suffer a tiny decrease in performance is that VPNs utilize incredibly powerful encryption standards (most providers these days use AES-256, which the US government and military use to safeguard secret data), which, because encryption takes time, is another reason.

Similarly, overburdened VPN servers might cause poor performance. If a major basketball game is taking place in the United States, and everyone wants to connect to a US server to view it, the servers will struggle to keep up with the demand.

What are the reasons for latency?

So, what causes latency in the first place? A few things to think about are listed below.

The distance between you and the server

Internet speed is improved by shorter distances between you and the VPN server. For example, if you're in the UK and connected to a server in Australia, a data packet must travel a long distance. As a result, the closer a server is to you, the faster your internet will be. Unless you need to connect to a server in a specific area, it's best to connect to VPN servers in adjacent countries or the country you're currently in. Search for a high-speed VPN service provider with a big number of servers and a broad country coverage to assist decrease VPN latency as much as feasible. VPN performance might be affected by distance

Load on the server

The connection performance suffers when there are too many users connecting to a single server. Overload problems are typical with cheap and sluggish VPNs that jam too many users onto too few servers in the hopes of gaining users by being "free." Premium VPNs with a large number of servers should never experience a delay.

The demand on the VPN server might slow down your connection.

Encryption quality

Virtual private networks rely heavily on encryption. It protects your web traffic from hackers and snoopers, allowing you to surf in complete anonymity. However, how encryption is handled is determined by the VPN service provider, and if done incorrectly, it might result in slowness.

The current encryption standard is the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), which is a block cipher algorithm. It's available in a variety of strengths, including 128-bit, 192-bit, and 256-bit encryption. The higher the degree of encryption, the more secure your data will be. AES with 256-bit keys was utilized by the US government to safeguard sensitive material and by the NSA to protect national security data before becoming the most widely used algorithm in ciphering data.

In a VPN, the strongest form of AES is what you should seek.

There is, however, a little sacrifice to be made: security and privacy backed by the strongest available encryption might result in delay and slower internet rates. The encryption strength of a VPN can make a difference.

Your ISP's Internet connection speed

If your Internet speed is already slow, a VPN won't be the only thing slowing it down. Internet service providers (ISPs) can limit bandwidth on purpose. Users may notice a slowdown in their internet connection while visiting particular websites or at specified times. As a user, this typically means that you won't be able to view or download material as quickly as usual. A VPN comes in handy in this circumstance since it allows you to avoid your ISP's speed limits by routing your internet traffic over a virtual private network.

How can you know how fast your VPN is?

Run a speed test and look at the ping time to discover how internet speed varies while connected to servers in different regions. It displays the length of connection delays between your device and the server with which it communicates. This will give you an idea of how much delay you'll be dealing with.

Here's how to run a VPN speed test quickly and easily:

  • Disconnect from your VPN.
  • Look up "internet speed test" in your browser.
  • Make a note of how fast you can upload and download.
  • Connect to a server of your choice by turning on your VPN.
  • Compare your speed results after repeating steps 3 and 4.

Getting the most out of your VPN settings

Don't make any extreme judgments just now if you currently have a VPN and think it's too sluggish to be worth the bother. You should absolutely fiddle with your VPN's setup settings first since this may resolve your issue.

First and foremost, connect to a different server than the one on which you are experiencing poor speeds. That will tell you if the problem is caused by your connection or by a problem with that specific server.

If you're utilizing the OpenVPN protocol, switching from TCP to UDP may result in quicker rates. It isn't a sure thing, but it is worth a chance!